What Oprah Knows for Sure About Finding the Fullest Expression of Yourself
Photo: George Burns
Seeking the fullest expression of self. That's the story of my life in six words—my personal definition of what I'm all about, at least for now. Writing this mini-memoir reminded me that my definition has always been and still is evolving. (If you haven't yet written your own—see Mini-Memoirs: Your Life Story in Six Words—I hope you'll give it a try. The exercise isn't just fun; it's revealing.) Words I would have used last year don't apply today. Because if we're really committed to growth, we never stop discovering new dimensions of self and self-expression.
For my Next Chapter show on OWN, I recently went to Fairfield, Iowa—population 9,500, smack in the middle of Midwestern farmland, the last place you'd expect to get stuck in an evening traffic jam because so many people are headed off to practice transcendental meditation. But that's what people do in Fairfield; in fact, it's often referred to as TM town. The action takes place in two golden dome-shaped buildings, one for the women, one for the men. Housewives, shop clerks, engineers, waitresses, lawyers, moms, single ladies, and me—we all gathered in our dome for the sole purpose of being still. Knowing that stillness is the space where all creative expression, peace, light, and love come to be.
It was a powerfully energizing yet calming experience. I didn't want it to end.
When it did, I walked away feeling fuller than when I'd come in. Full of hope, a sense of contentment, and deep joy. Knowing for sure that even in the daily craziness that bombards us from every direction, there is—still—the constancy of stillness.
Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.
So now I give myself a healthy dose of quiet time at least once (and when I'm on point, twice) a day. Twenty minutes in the morning, 20 in the evening. TM teachers have taught everyone in my company who wanted to learn how to meditate. The results have been awesome. Better sleep. Improved relationships with spouses, children, coworkers. Some people who once suffered migraines don't anymore. Greater productivity and creativity all around.
It proves once again that Glinda the Good Witch was right: "You've always had the power." You just have to be still to find it. And when you do, you're on the way to finding the fullest expression of you.
More Inspiration for Improving and Appreciating Your Life